Summer in Vegas Means a Rise in Boating Accidents

Madeleine Jones
April 20, 2017

Summer brings a rise in boating accidents that result in personal injuries, property damages, and in some cases, death. A Las Vegas accident lawyer commonly sees Lake Mead boating accidents and serious injuries as summer approaches each year.

Lake Mead Boating Accidents

Boating is a popular summer pastime on Lake Mead, and as temperatures rise, so do boating accidents. Although boating accidents occur all year, Las Vegas accident lawyers see a significant rise between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. Large numbers of boats on the lake during this time, coupled with increased alcohol consumption on the water, increase the risks for serious injuries and fatalities by 50 percent. In 2013, The Nevada News reported that Lake Mead ranked fifth in the country for boating accidents with a total of 519 accidents over a five-year period. In 2015, there were 2,613 boating injuries and 626 fatalities.

Lake Mead is one of the top national boating destinations with millions of visitors every year. It’s the largest reservoir in the United States when full, covering an area of 247 square miles, so it accommodates large numbers of power boats, as well as canoes, kayaks, houseboats, jet skis, fishermen, scuba divers, and swimmers during summer months. Overcrowding, combined with inexperienced and impaired boaters, creates a rise in the rate of boating accidents and injuries.

Boating Safety Tips

Although many consider boating a recreational activity, it comes with responsibilities for promoting boating safety to help prevent accidents and injuries.

  • Alcohol and Drugs – Boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law. It increases the odds of boating accidents, injuries, and fatalities by 34 percent.
  • Speed Limits – The water has posted speed limits that must be obeyed for safety. Boaters who speed are issued speeding citations that can cost hundreds of dollars in fines and fees.
  • Boat Maintenance – Regular boat maintenance increases operational efficiency and safety. If someone is injured or killed due to improper boat maintenance, a negligence lawsuit can be filed by a Las Vegas personal injury lawyer.
  • Life Jackets – Adults are advised to wear life jackets, and children under 13 are required by law to always wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket while aboard moving boats.
  • Emergency Equipment – Boats should be equipped with proper emergency and safety equipment that’s in good working order. Knowing how to use it may make the difference between an injury and a fatality.